Spire, formerly Nanosatisfi, raises $25M Series A round to expand its satellite fleet

NanoSatisfi ArduSat satellite

Nanosatisfi, now Spire, will soon grow its fleet of tiny satellites from four to more than 50 after receiving $25 million in Series A funding.

RRE Ventures led the round, in which Moose Capital, Quihoo and Mitsui & Co. Global Investment also participated. The new funds will go toward building and launching more satellites, improving communication infrastructure and hiring more people, the company said. Spire also announced that it will open a second office in Singapore.

Spire's SoMa office. Photo by Signe Brewster.

Spire’s SoMa office in San Francisco. Photo by Signe Brewster.

Spire was founded in 2012 and one of the earliest graduates of Lemnos Labs’ incubator. It previously raised $4 million from sources like Kickstarter and Grishin Robotics.

The startup advertises itself as an eye on the traditionally unwatched corners of the world–vast expanses of ocean, for example, that large satellite companies do not find lucrative. Spire’s shoebox-sized satellites can collect images or data like weather conditions and then provide hourly reports to customers interested in tracking a ship across the ocean or spotting the source of an oil spill.

A frame of a Spire satellite. Photo by Signe Brewster.

A frame of a Spire satellite. Photo by Signe Brewster.

The jump to 50 satellites will put Spire in closer competition with Planet Labs, which already has 43 satellites in space. Both companies will continuously grow their fleets, so within a year or two there will be hundreds of small satellites orbiting Earth.

“We have an exceptionally talented team, and part of my role is to push our team to think critically and creatively — the ‘way it has always been done’ is not a good answer unless we can measure that it’s still the most efficient process,” CTO Russ Muzzolini, Spire said in a release. “We are changing the satellite industry standard for innovation, measuring satellite design and development time in weeks as opposed to years.”

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